The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has said it is considering whether the anticipated acquisition by supermarket chain Waitrose of five stores from rival Wm Morrison Supermarkets would result in the creation of a relevant merger situation.

Should the deal be found to be a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002, the OFT said it will further consider whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom.

If any substantial lessening of competition is expected, the deal would likely be referred to the UK’s Competition Commission for investigation and report.